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Investigate the effect that different weights have on my parachute.

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Introduction

 Anthony Blakemore

Experiment of Parachute

Investigation

          We are going to investigate the effect that different weights have on my parachute. We are going to construct a parachute and drop it from an unchanged height with different weights attached to it and record the results.

        To make my experiment, my parachute will be constructed from a black bin liner which will be 70cm x 80cm and the string will be 30cm long. I will have a piece of string coming from each corner of the parachute, joining together at the bottom to tie the weight onto. To make my experiment safe I am going to make sure that the area I am working in and dropping the parachute from is free from people and other various objects, which may obstruct the path of the parachute – this would make the test an unfair one. I am going to change the mass of weights attached to the parachute; therefore this will be my dependant Variable – the weights will be from 10-grams to 60-grams. Hence, my Independent Variable will be the vertical height that I drop my parachute from. I will also keep the parachute the same – not change the length of the string or the measurements of the bin liner. I am going to measure the time taken for the parachute to reach the ground from the desired height.

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Middle

1.42

2 metres

40g

1.56

2 metres

50g

1.05

2 metres

60g

0.97

2 metres

2.

Mass (g)

Time (s)

Distance

10g

1.95

2 metres

20g

1.65

2 metres

30g

1.46

2 metres

40g

1.23

2 metres

50g

1.07

2 metres

60g

0.99

2 metres

3.

Mass (g)

Time (s)

Distance

10g

1.99

2 metres

20g

1.62

2 metres

30g

1.42

2 metres

40g

1.25

2 metres

50g

1.04

2 metres

60g

0.94

2 metres

Average of number 1,2 and 3.

Mass (g)

Time (s)

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Conclusion

If I did the experiment again I would carry it out in a room with a high ceiling – like a hall. This would ensure the parachute had time to unfold, accelerate and gain terminal velocity making the experiment more accurate and precise. I could also maybe use different materials to make the parachute, like tissue paper instead of bin liner and cotton instead of string. If I did this, my results would change and I compare them to the data I have now. The 40g experiment was different to the remainder of my results so I am going to fairly say this is an anomalous result. This could have happened because the parachute’s path was obstructed by maybe a pupil or a stool, which would have slowed down the parachute. Another alternative as to why I gained this anomalous result is that maybe at the time we were carrying out the experiment a gust of wind from an open window may have blew the parachute off course or the classroom door was opened which may have created a draft.

Instead of changing the weight on the parachute I could change the surface area of the bin liner and the length of the string I used, this would vary my results and I could then compare the new data with the data I already have.

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